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“Excellent chain restaurant with non-chain atmosphere”

Carrabba's Italian Grill
Ranked #189 of 1,603 Restaurants in Richmond
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Richmond
Level Contributor
43 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Excellent chain restaurant with non-chain atmosphere”
Reviewed June 27, 2011

No wonder Carrabba's is always busy, the food is excellent, service consistently good and manager a true owner! Woodfire oven that smells so good--you'll get a good wiff of it when you walk through the doors and can even dine at the counter in front of it.
There are many chain Italian restaurants to choose from, but none compare to Carrabba's! The manager is friendly and always comes by to say hello or offer a drink if you are waiting for a table. I don't think I would even know who the manager is at other chains!
The fresh and warm bread and olive oil with herbs is served with every meal and is very tasty. Try not to fill up on it 'cause the food is great and portions are generous!
My husband I often start with the calimari which is delicious and we've found that the small size is more than generous for 2 -3 people. Because the "regular" meals are so big, we have started splitting one and just order an extra salad. The chicen marsala is especially good---get the mashed potatos and ask for extra marsala sauce if you want to put it over them as well as the chicken. The house salad is always fresh and creamy italian dressing very tastey but not overwhelming. When we've wanted to eat lighter, we order the fabulous mussles and each get a salad. The mussles are some of the best I have ever had with a wonderful garlic-basil-white wine sauce. Its so good that we drive over 30 minutes just to get the mussles! We've only had room for dessert once and ordered the seasonal apple crostata which is apple with hazlenut butter wrapped in a pastry crust served with vanilla ice cream--yummy! Can be a little loud if you go during peak dinner time (6-8), try Saturday lunch or just early dinner for a better experience. Join the Amici Club for nice discounts sent out periodically and for your birthday!

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Va_Traveler_67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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150 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Really liked it before...LOVE it NOW...”
Reviewed June 13, 2011

Really love this place! Where to start? I've been to Carrabbas a few times before, but never with 2 little ones under 2. Always had great customer service. Love their ceasar dressing - it's made in house! and we always get it with the bread that they serve - which is great! One time I ordered Salmon and it was a bit dry, but everything else is just amazing. Yesterday we went with a group of 4 adults and 2 children. The waitress, can't remember the name, she's from Romania, was really nice! When my 2 y.o. was misbehaving, she took him around the restaurant for a walk to say hi to the waiters. It was awesome.

They have the best white pizza!! Just awesome!! And I've looked everywhere it seems!

Everything we got was great! Chicken Marsala, Seafood Pasta, Filet Mignon, Tomato & Basil Soup. Oh & the desserts, YUM!!! Try their ice cream - it's Blue Bell, sooo good!! Too bad we can't find it in the store here in Richmond. The apple pie with ice cream was just great.

At the end we asked to speak to the owner of the restaurant to tell him that we had a wonderful experience and we don't do it too often, only when we get extremely great service and food or extremely bad!

I think it tells a lot about a restaurant when the owner is there. That they care that the restaurant succeeds & do a lot of hard work staying there all the time!

  • Visited June 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank isabella1018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midlothian, Virginia
1 review
“A Great Place for Non-Glutens”
Reviewed March 17, 2011

Love the non-gluten selections, especially the bread which should be ordered immediately! Attentive manager and wait persons. Suggest sitting at pizza bar at least once! Go at 5pm
or after 8pm to avoid crowds.

  • Visited February 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank floydetteewing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockwall, Texas
Level Contributor
170 reviews
135 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Snake Bit”
Reviewed May 15, 2010

It is so unfortunate that such a great restaurant continues to not be able to handle simple reservations. Tonight, we waited 45 minutes only to find out that our reservation was not in their system correctly, even though they gave us a electronic pager. It wasn't until the manager, who had inquired twice about why we were waiting so long, interceded and we were seated. The food is great, the waiters are super and manager is really trying. He is all over the place and is engaged. Unfortunately, the two or three young people he entrusts with greeting and handling customers are not capable of getting it right. When you go, if you go to this restaurant, you need to challenge the youngsters at the reservation station...they simply are not paying attention nor are they aware of how important it is to properly welcome people. I am sure the manager knows that how your are greeted and treated is how well you like the restaurant...and tonight, unfortunately, once again, we were mistreated...

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank dcseny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“I remember having an exceptionally delicious meal, but a terrible reaction to the richness of the food. Weak stomachs...”
Reviewed July 28, 2008

I remember having an exceptionally delicious meal, but a terrible reaction to the richness of the food. Weak stomachs beware! If rated by flavor and service, it doesn't get much more enjoyable than this.

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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